Welcome to the Deaf Education Centre
We are very proud of The Deaf Education Centre (DEC) here at Eggbuckland Vale.
We provide inclusive education for up to eighteen children within the Centre from nursery age to Year 6 and these children have a range of communication and additional needs. We have a ‘Total Communication Approach’ which means we use and teach BSL, SSE and English dependent on the needs of each individual child.
Our aim is that all the deaf children are fully included in both the academic and social life of the school. The children have equal access to a broad curriculum and learn alongside their peers with in-class support or small/individual group sessions, depending upon their individual needs. This specialised support, which is specified in each child’s EHCP is agreed and planned as a result of close working relationships with class teachers and can be delivered in-class or in a withdrawal setting within the DEC. Support and advice is given to the families of the pupils and to the mainstream staff who teach them.
In order to achieve the optimum listening environment, all of our classrooms are acoustically treated to minimise reverberation and resonance (including carpets, blinds, low ceiling tiles) and are fitted with digital Sound field Systems (surround sound amplification). This helps all the children in school hear the teacher and one another more clearly. The hall system is used throughout the day for P.E., Dance, Drama and assembly sessions. We also rebroadcast to hearing aids; providing equal access for our DEC children.
We fully support children with a wide range of audiological equipment and work closely with the local audiology department. The children are provided with radio aids to provide direct input from their teacher by cutting down on background noise. The children are encouraged to develop independence in taking care of their listening equipment. If there are any concerns regarding children’s equipment, staff will inform parents and contact the relevant hospital if appropriate.
The majority of deaf children hear well with their aids, but need to learn to listen. Correct use and maintenance of hearing aid equipment is central to our practise, as is the use of techniques to support children in developing good spoken language skills.
British Sign Language
Most children benefit from the use of sign support or sign language. Some of our deaf children have British Sign language (BSL) as their first language and are fully supported to access lessons with highly trained staff. We encourage all deaf children to learn BSL and have weekly BSL lessons. Lunchtime signing clubs are offered to every child at EVPS to ensure communication for all and this is very popular. Signed concerts are performed to the whole school, families and to community groups. We work closely with BSL tutors to enable families to learn too.
Cued Speech is used as a visual aid to spoken English and enables deaf children to understand and identify all of the speech sounds. Cued Speech is a tool to support children’s learning of phonics as a pathway to becoming skilled readers and writers. Children are taught Cued Speech by specialist teachers in the DEC and our results are astounding! We work closely with the Cued Speech association to enable parents and families to learn too.
Teaching and Learning
Our pupils are fully included into school life. They are supported in class by an experienced team of specialist teaching assistants in order to facilitate access to the curriculum. Qualified Teachers of the Deaf also support the children, either in class or delivering 1:1 and small group teaching within the Deaf Education Centre. We work closely with the on-site specialist Speech & Language Therapist, and we have recently trained our own Audiology Technician.
The Teachers of the Deaf ensure that all staff at Eggbuckland Vale are trained in deaf friendly teaching strategies and the use of equipment that improves the listening environment for these children. They also ensure that all members of the school community have up to date deaf awareness training to ensure the full inclusion of the deaf children.
Teachers of the Deaf will carry out assessments with children to ensure that the specific needs of each child are identified and that the provision is appropriate. Provision of the children is monitored regularly to ensure that it is impactful. Teachers of the Deaf carry out pre-and post-teaching, literacy, numeracy, comprehension groups and/or specific interventions according to the needs of the child. All sessions are either on a one to one basis or in small groups.
Specialist Teaching Assistants support children in the classroom or carry out interventions outside of the mainstream classroom.
Deaf Education Centre Staff can sign to at least BSL Level 2 and all school staff are offered the opportunity to learn.
Meet the team:
| || |
|Head of Inclusion||Debbie Baker|| |
| || || |
|Teachers of the Deaf||Sarah Bradley ||Vicky Lowther|
|Specialist Teaching Assistants|| || |
|Michelle Peters||Sam Cambridge||Kirsty Elston|
|Lyndsey Austin||Michelle Peters||Sam Clevett|
|Elouisa Rapps||Clare Rodgers ||Carole Clift |
|Specialist Staff:|| || |
|Speech and Language Therapist||Jude Kelly|| |
|Audiology Technician||Michelle Peters|| |
|Communication Support Workers||Liz Northcote||Jason Trotter|
| ||Tobin Broadbent|
Speech and Language Therapy
Two days each week the Speech and Language Therapist (Jude Kelly), who has specific expertise with deafness, visits the Deaf Education Centre at Eggbuckland Vale. Currently, almost all the deaf children are seen weekly, or twice weekly for short individual sessions to work on the development of language skills and specific aspects of speech.
We invest time in ensuring smooth transitions for our deaf children. From first starting at school with us to transferring onto their next school, and even as the children move classes each year.
A programme of visits together with liaison between staff, ensures a smooth transfer and the opportunity to allay fears and worries that children and families may have. Our feeder Secondary school, Eggbuckland Community College, also has a Specialist Centre for deaf pupils. Close liaison and collaboration with this school enables our children to follow the pathway with smooth transitions between phases.
Once a term individual targets are discussed in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting with one of the Teachers of the Deaf, and each year, at an Annual Review, professionals concerned with the education and care for the child meet with the parents and Head of Inclusion to review progress and monitor the outcomes of the EHCP. Communication between parents and ToD is highly valued to ensure children are making continual progress.
We believe that trips and extra-curricular activities are extremely important in developing the children’s social, emotional well-being and awareness of the environment. We have a number of activities which take place in school, such as Boccia and Football, visits from the Listening Bus as well as excursions to a number of places in the local area. The Deaf Education Centre also hosts a Christmas party for all children within the DEC and their families. A summer beach trip is also arranged to celebrate the end of the year. We have close links with the Plymouth Deaf Children’s Society and encourage our children and families to be active members.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to
get in touch with us.